Kick Start Your Health with a Detox
Detoxification is the process used to improve the release of both internal and external toxins and repair the damage they have done. Toxins may enter our bodies through the skin (heavy metals and solvents), via the lungs (cigarette smoke, traffic smog etc), and particularly within our food and water.
All detoxification programs involve the release and elimination of toxins from various organs and cells. The toxins are eliminated through various channels such as the kidneys, skin, bowel and liver. Primarily, a detoxification program focuses on the liver and the bowel, as these are the body’s primary defence against toxins.
Detoxification programs have three main goals:
1. To eliminate from your diet foods that contain toxins, harmful chemicals and allergens
2. To optimise nutritional status
3. To hydrate and flush the body’s blood and tissues
5 Key Essentials
Aim to drink 10-12 glasses of purified or bottled spring water. Unfiltered water may be full of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, fluoride and heavy metals. A glass of warm water with the juice of a freshly squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning is an excellent remedy for constipation and is the perfect way to start the detoxifying process of the liver each day.
Fibre supplements provide bulk and moisture for smooth elimination from the bowel and assist with any detoxification program. A combination of psyllium husks, chia seeds, slippery elm and ground fennel is a real winner! High fibre foods include whole corn, brown rice, lentils, beans, peas, apples, pears, figs, sprouts, nuts and seeds.
An important part of any detoxification program, exercise helps to improve circulation, stimulate the flow of lymph around the body, encourage the skin to perspire and helps to stimulate deeper breathing. However, it is important to exercise lightly during the initial phase of detoxification. Try to do it outside to top up your vitamin D levels!
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and therefore the largest organ of elimination. Sweating and/or skin brushing is a very useful detoxification method. Dry skin brush daily for 5-10 minutes before showering or bathing. An Epsom salt bath will also warm you and help detoxification through the skin. Add 1kg of salts per bath and soak for 20 minutes. Afterwards, wrap yourself in a big towel, lie down and continue to sweat. Saunas may be taken with dry skin brushing beforehand.
Breathing techniques are helpful for improving respiratory function. Breathing deeply will not only help to reduce stress levels and increase oxygen intake it will help to clean out the deep recesses of the lungs.
The Cleansing or Detoxifying Diet Substances to avoid when detoxifying:
• Tobacco and other non-prescription drugs
• Caffeine containing products i.e. coffee, tea, coke, chocolate
• All animal products except for fish (i.e. Red meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, dairy products etc)
• Pre-packaged, processed & refined foods
• High-sugar foods
• High fat foods
• Foods containing gluten – wheat, oats, rye, barley
• Avoid all chemical food additives
Tips for Success Throughout Detox
• Drink plenty of purified/filtered water
• Drink diluted fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices
• Eat meals regularly in a relaxed environment – always chew food thoroughly
• Meals should be 50% raw and 50% cooked – this will provide optimum nutrient & fibre supply
• Keep food preparation simple – steaming, baking and grilling are best
• Rotate food choices daily – choose new fruits, vegetables & protein each day
• Eat foods in season and only buy organic.
• A modified cleanse may include animal protein. If so, it should be organic or bio-dynamically produced. Lamb and turkey meats are cleaner meats than beef and chicken.